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Criticisms of Ayn Rand's philosophy

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Sorry, I meant Thomas. Dohh..... :dough:

Well, that's one of those mistakes of consciousness but not of perception; unless you were confusing "Tom" with "Bob" because they look so similar :D

It can be difficult to keep track of who said what in a long thread, especially if one has never met the poster, but I do appreciate that "at a boy".

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Conceptual mis-identification. Binswanger had a good discussion on this at his OCON presentation on Perception last year. If you stick a pencil in to water, the resulting image looks like a bent pencil (due to the differences in the refraction of light). To really say that the pencil is bent is a conceptual mis-identification of reality. It is a different percept, but misidentified.

I wasn't at OCON, so I don't know how Harry Binswanger handled this issue in the details. While I agree that saying that the pencil is bent is incorrect, I think it is important to point out that our senses were definitely not deceiving us when we look at a pencil half-way in water and see it as bent; because something is bent -- the light gets bent. So it's not really the case that we perceive something that is bent when it is really straight, because the light really is bent.

The same answer can be given to those who say that something flat and round, say a penny, looks elliptical when viewed at a non-perpendicular angle (not face on). Such philosophers always want to appeal to some special viewing angle (perpendicular) and claim that this is the "right" viewing angle; whereas the other viewing angles give us false information -- i.e. the penny is actually round, but looks elliptical due to the non-perpendicular viewing angle. To say that it ought to look round no matter what the viewing angle is to completely ignore the context of the viewing angle; for it would indeed be strange if the penny, a flat round object, would always look flat and round regardless of the viewing angle.

The point is that our sensory apparatus is contextual -- i.e. dependent upon the metaphysical circumstance -- which is why they are infallible. The light is actually bent in the pencil example and the penny is actually at a non-perpendicular angle, which is why they look that way. Neither of these is an optical illusion, but rather our sensory equipment automatically and infallibly taking the metaphysical circumstance into account -- because we perceive existence. And we don't perceive it from some special "God's eye view" or via some "perfect mathematical view" but rather perceive it as the human beings that we are.

The attempt to define out the human experience, in some parlance to make it more objective and less subjective, is again to not questioning the philosophic errors of the past two thousand years. We cannot get beneath experiencing existence qua humans because that is what we are.

Perception is the starting point of all knowledge, and without perception we would have no knowledge; because it is perception that keeps us tied to existence. The attempt to take perception out of the equation in an effort to make it more objective, once again denies that man has any direct contact with existence via perception.

And we always perceive existence as it actually is because of the direct causal connection we have with existence via perception that is non-volitional in its functioning.

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